Startups Collaborate with Galaxy in New Effort to Increase Alzheimer’s Patient Participation in Research

Ana de Barros, PhD avatar

by Ana de Barros, PhD |

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Roobirk and Antidote, two startup companies that work to empower people living with Alzheimer’s disease have entered a partnership with Galaxy, an online portal to initiatives that facilitate patient participation in Alzheimer’s research.

More than 80% of clinical studies overall are delayed or closed because not enough patients meet enrollment requirements. The problem is particularly severe in Alzheimer’s research which typically requires seven and 10 million people to be included in registries in order for planned clinical trials to meet enrollment requirements. Only about one-third of Alzheimer’s clinical trials every year find enough participants to continue.

“The actions taken to date have not been commensurate with the growing threat presented by Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s is a cancer-sized challenge requiring a cancer-sized solution,” George Vradenburg, co-founder and chairman of UsAgainstAlzheimer’s, said in a press release.

The new three-party partnership aims to address the challenge by optimizing matches between Alzheimer’s patients and clinical trials.

Roobrik, whose online decision tools now help patients and their families make important treatment choices, will be enabled through the new partnership to develop a new assessment tool that will help Galaxy visitors answer the question: “Is clinical research right for us?”

Antidote, an online startup that helps bridge the gap between patients and medical research through its Antidote Match program, is now helping Galaxy match Alzheimer’s patients with clinical trials at no extra cost to users.

The partnership means that Galaxy visitors will be able to use Roobrik’s brief assessment to navigate difficult questions for participation in Alzheimer’s research and then use Antidote to identify trials that fit them best for actual trial participation.

“Every decision to take part in clinical research for Alzheimer’s starts with small concerns: a repeated story or lost set of keys,” Nate O’Keefe, co-founder and CEO of Roobrik, explained. “Our partnership with Galaxy and Antidote enables us to reach older adults and caregivers in these moments, help them understand their situation, and guide them to what works best for them, whether that’s signing up to join a registry or finding a clinical trial.”

Project partners view the collaboration as “just the beginning.”  Antidote’s additional resource will be free Alzheimer’s organizations, patient communities, and online health portals; Galaxy’s will continue giving voice to Alzheimer’s research; and Roobrik’s mission to disceminate information to patients and families much easier.

Meryl Comer, co-principal investigator of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute’s Alzheimer’s and Dementia Patient and Caregiver Powered Research Network and CEO of the Geoffrey Beene Foundation Alzheimer’s Initiative supported the partnership.

“We see the inclusion of Antidote and Roobrik on the Galaxy platform as a critical solution and way to fast-track the process of recruiting the right patient for the right trial,” Comer said.